World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Lives At Risk Unless Conditions For Spain’s Seasonal Migrant Workers Are Rapidly Improved

Local governments must immediately improve deplorable conditions seasonal migrant workers endure in shanty towns around Spain’s strawberry townships before people die, a UN expert said today.

In the past week, three fires in the informal settlements in the municipalities of Lepe and Lucena del Puerto, in the southern province of Huelva, have destroyed the workers’ only alternative accommodation when they arrive in Spain. Local governments have so far ignored the more than 170 people now left out in the open. Some have lost their papers and belongings and are even more vulnerable, said Olivier De Schutter, the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.

“These incidents further highlight the urgent need to regularise the working conditions of migrant workers and thus to ensure decent working and housing conditions,” De Schutter said. “Local administrations, agricultural employers and companies need to seek in an urgent and coordinated manner a solution to end the situation of degradation in which seasonal agricultural workers live.”

In June, the Special Rapporteur called on the authorities to ensure that migrant workers were guaranteed conditions, including access to adequate healthcare, that meet international standards. A month later, the situation is deteriorating alarmingly each day, made worse amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This reality of fires and inhumane conditions in the shanty towns cannot be tolerated any longer,” the expert said. “Local governments have remained silent for too long and need to provide now a timely and adequate response.”

De Schutter welcomed ongoing investigations by the Defensor Del Pueblo, the Spanish national human rights institution, after last week’s fires. “The Ombudsman is giving visibility to a neglected humanitarian problem and to a situation that needs to be solved,” he said.

The expert has been in contact in the past month with the Government of Spain and concerned companies on these issues.

The expert: Mr. Olivier De Schutter was appointed as the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights by the UN Human Rights Council on 1 May 2020.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN News: UN Censures ‘heinous Attacks’ In Lake Chad Basin

Conflict over many years has driven hundreds of thousands of people from their homes in north-east Cameroon. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe The Secretary-General strongly condemned “heinous attacks” against civilians in the Lake Chad Basin, a UN spokesperson ... More>>

South Africa: COVID-19 Pandemic Raises The Urgency Of Structural Reforms

South Africa responded swiftly to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the sharp drop in activity adds to long-standing challenges and raises the urgency of structural reforms, according to a new OECD report released today. In the latest Economic Survey of South Africa ... More>>

United Nations: ‘Immediate Humanitarian Assistance’ To Support Beirut

The response to Tuesday’s explosion in Beirut requires global support in order to “surmount the devastating impact” of the crisis facing the Lebanese people, the UN Deputy Special Coordinator for the country said on Thursday. More>>

UN Experts: Turkey Should Preserve Hagia Sophia As Space For Meeting Of Cultures

The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul should be maintained as an inter-cultural space reflecting the diversity and complexity of Turkey and its history, and preserving the outstanding universal value which resulted in its World Heritage Status, say two UN human rights ... More>>